Breaking news, sports and campus news from Western Kentucky University

Hope Harbor Inc. hosts annual ‘Take Back the Night’ event

David Campos-Contreras
Vendors, volunteers and attendants mingle at Take Back the Night, organized by Hope Harbor Inc., at First Christian Church on Friday, April 26. Take Back the Night promotes empowerment and awareness against sexual violence.

Hope Harbor Inc., a nonprofit sexual trauma recovery center in Bowling Green, hosted its annual “Take Back the Night” empowerment and awareness against sexual violence event at First Christian Church on Friday, April 26 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Hope Harbor traces its origins to the 1980s from a community concern which recognized spouse abuse as a serious community problem. 

Katie Poindexter, advocacy coordinator for Hope Harbour Inc., said that Hope Harbor has grown a lot since 1985 and is all about helping the community. The organization demonstrates this by organizing events like “Take Back the Night” where a variety of local vendors, childrens’ activities, live entertainment and food trucks encouraged local groups the opportunity to participate in an event that gives a lasting positive contribution to the community.

“Sexual violence impacts everyone in the community, even if it’s not directly,” Poindexter said. “It’s all kind of like a domino effect. It’s really good to have community support for survivors. To show that we are here for them, we support them, and we don’t stand for sexual violence.”

According to, hundreds of colleges and universities across North America began holding marches and rallies from 1980-1985 after Laura Lederer wrote “Take Back the Night: Women on Pornography,” which called for an end on violence against women.

Elizabeth Madariaga, WKU sexual assault services coordinator, was in attendance and ran a stand advocating for counseling for sexual assault victims throughout the event.

“Several departments on WKU’s campus and Hope Harbor work together to put on events for Sexual Assault Prevention Month,” Madariaga said. “They do things on campus, we do things in the community, we do things just to help raise awareness and prevention for this issue that goes on. We’re part of a community wide committee and this is one of the events Hope Harbor sponsors. We’re here to show support for that. We’re also here to let the community and WKU know the services that are available to them.”

Madariaga continued to say that events like “Take Back the Night” are important because it’s important to remember that sexual assault is not a male and female issue but rather a community issue.

“WKU is kind of an entity on its own,” Madariaga said. “You have things that go on campus that the community is not aware of and vice versa. But events like this where we can come together … it shows that we support each other no matter where you’re at in Bowling Green… not only against sexual violence, which is so prevalent, but also within our own respective areas and everyone can do something.”

News Reporter David Campos-Contreras can be reached at [email protected].

More to Discover